Nivenia binata, also known as Nivenia, is a large shrub or small tree native to South Africa. It is an evergreen shrub that grows to a height of 5-10 ft tall with a dense, bushy growth habit. Its thick leaves are sword-shaped and arranged in a fan, giving the shrub an attractive, feathery appearance. The foliage is dark green and glossy, with the undersides a silvery-gray.
Nivenia grows best in full sun, and requires moderate amounts of water for optimal growth. In cooler climates, the shrub does best in a container, where it can be brought indoors during winter. It is hardy in USDA Zones 9-11.
The shrub produces a profusion of small, tubular-shaped flowers in shades of blue, lavender, and purple, which are borne in clusters along the stems. The blooms are borne in late winter and early spring, and they attract a wide variety of pollinating insects. In summer and fall, the plant produces small berries, which are favored by birds.
In areas where Nivenia is hardy, it is easy to grow. In colder areas, however, the plant should be kept in a container and brought indoors during winter. The soil should be well-drained but moist, and fertilized lightly once a year. Prune back the shrub in late winter or early spring to maintain a neat, compact shape. It is also necessary to deadhead spent flowers to encourage new blooms.